Amanda Moments
June 25, 2015

Today I’m admitting something that’s kind of hard to fess up to because of a stigma attached to it: I tried therapy. And actually, so far, it’s working wonders. I’ve learned that many people suffer from anxiety, which I had no clue was so common, and reading others’ brave posts made me want to share my own experience.

You can also find me guest posting more about my own therapy experience on Cassie’s blog today, as part of the Speak Up for Silence series with her and Christine. In the meantime, I wanted to share some of the most helpful takeaways I’ve gotten in therapy, so far.

things i learned in therapy

-I cannot change the past and I cannot control the future.

-I should not dwell on the unknown.

-I cannot control other people’s actions or feelings and I shouldn’t give them the power to control mine.

-Someone else’s opinion does not have to become my truth.

-Other people’s actions are not a reflection of me.

-I control my own decisions. I should never feel bad for what other people might think of me or what I do.

-My feelings are never bad, and I shouldn’t feel shame, as long as I don’t act negatively on the bad feelings or thoughts.

-Assertiveness is a set of skills, not a type of person. Like most skills, it can be learned and chosen when to be used. Just like something in your tool set — it’s there when you need it and put away when you don’t.

-In times of panic, trick your mind out of its natural flight-or-fight response and force yourself to think rationally by breaking down all scenarios and making them manageable.

-(Unhealthy) Worrying is a waste of time.

Have you ever tried therapy? What tips do you have?

Click HERE to read my post sharing my full therapy journey.

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26 responses to “Lessons I’ve Learned in Therapy”

  1. JC says:

    Sometimes I think everyone should try out therapy. I went some when I was in HS and college to deal with some childhood nonsense. It helped me with so much more than that.

  2. I’m so glad you shared this! I have no idea why people place such a negative stigma on therapy because it really is great!

  3. Christine says:

    I’m so glad you shared this!

  4. Meagan says:

    This one: I control my own decisions. I should never feel bad for what other people might think of me or what I do. ALL THE YES! Thank you, I needed to hear that today 🙂

    • Amanda says:

      I need to hear that all the time. Ha. It’s something I have to continually remind myself so I don’t focus on others, and it totally helps. It’s so true!

  5. Katie says:

    I love all your lessons, most of them I need to work on myself. I worry so much about making other people happy and also worrying about what they think. Just today I cried at the doctor’s office and apologized profusely and then thought “Maybe I should switch doctors she probably hates me now”. It’s just dumb thoughts like that that occupy my brain way too much. If my insurance covered it, I would definitely go to therapy on a regular basis, I’ve gone and really loved it. Who wouldn’t want to talk to someone every week or so?

    • Amanda says:

      I TOTALLY get that. It’s so easy to worry about other people and let that drag us down, but it’s such a waste of emotional energy since we can’t control others. What a revelation!

  6. Lisa B says:

    Ah, such good takeaways! I go to counseling as well, and I try to journal afterwards so that I can remember all of the things I’ve learned – a lot are similar to what you wrote here!

    • Amanda says:

      Oh yes, that’s such good practice. That’s actually how I got this post idea. When I was writing down everything I had learned, I was like, ‘wow, this is something I should share!’ Woohoo for therapy!

  7. Susannah says:

    Yes! I love this so much! Thanks for speaking up about something that has a negative stigma to it! I have done therapy before too and it’s been SO beneficial in my life. I think everyone should do it at some point in their lives. 🙂

    • Amanda says:

      I totally agree – I definitely learned you don’t have to be “messed up” to benefit from therapy. I’m amazed how great it’s been.

  8. OMG that sentence about being assertive just blew my mind. I’ve always just felt like I couldn’t be assertive because it’s “not me” and I just can’t be good at it. Just wow. Thanks for sharing!

    • Amanda says:

      Girl, I had that exact same revelation. I made excuses to not even try to be because I didn’t think it was in my nature. But now I know, that I CAN use it when I need to, and how to be assertive without being passive-aggressive, which is what the old me would do out of fear to avoid confrontation. That assertiveness workbook is GREAT!

  9. The women in my family all suffer from pretty bad anxiety. Both my mom and my sister have gone to therapy–I’m the only one who hasn’t. Honestly, the money is what is keeping me (my sister is still a dependent, so mom covers her insurance bill). But, I understand what it is like to live with anxiety!

    • Amanda says:

      Ugh, and that money part of it totally sucks. I probably wouldn’t have gone either if I wasn’t lucky enough to have it covered in my benefits program through work. Totally thankful I had that option though. I wish more affordable ones were out there for others who need the help but can’t afford it!

  10. Seems like you have learned a lot! I’ve never been in therapy, but it isn’t something that I personally have a stigma against or wouldn’t try. I think its great that you are able to be comfortable with yourself and open that you are in it!

  11. thank you so much for sharing this and i cannot wait to go check out your post on cassie’s blog!

    i started therapy when i was 15 (i was forced into it by parents who didn’t know what else to do) and i wasted a lot of time and their money because…i was 15.

    now i’ve spent my own money and my own time both in individual therapy as well as couple’s therapy and it is truly amazing.

    to have someone help your process things without judgement is an amazing experiencing and i am so glad you’ve found it helpful!

    • Amanda says:

      Oh gosh, therapy that young has to be ultra confusing. I remember going to a few sessions as a young teen too at one point and it was completely ineffective. I resented that I was even there. I totally think you have to want help in order to receive help.

  12. jackie says:

    love the lesson about assertiveness – so true that it’s a skill, not a defining quality of you as a person. i’m learning to be more assertive in my life.

  13. Kay R. says:

    I love the one about peoples opinions not becoming your truth! Thanks for this!!

    • Amanda says:

      Yes, that’s been a hard one for me. I tend to believe what people say … even the mean things sometimes. It’s liberating to toss the bad things aside.

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